We always start our lessons by watching the clip from Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD for the featured letter.
For most of the lesson we focused on X is for X-rays. The kids weren’t familiar with x-rays so I started off by explaining what they are through reading “Jessica’s X-ray” by Pat Zonta
The book was very effective in helping them understand in a child friendly way and it even contained actual x-rays.
After they had a good understanding we made our X-ray letter craft using q-tips as the bone. The idea for the craft came from here .
While we still had the glue and q-tips out we made this fun craft. I traced the kids hands with a white colored pencil and then they glued q-tips to make the bones.
Afterwards we sang some X-ray songs:
“The X-Ray Man”
(tune of “The Muffin Man”)
Do you know the X-RAY man,
the X-RAY man,
the X-RAY man?
Do you know the X-RAY man
He takes pictures of my bones?
Oh, he loves the letter X,
the letter X,
the letter X,
Oh, he loves the letter X
and likes to X-RAY me.
We also watched this video song on youtube: “Shake Them Skeleton Bones” . The first time we listened to it straight through and then the second time we used a plastic skeleton to identify the different bones.
We read “You Can’t See Your Bones With Binoculars” by Harriet Ziefert while holding up the plastic skeleton and identifying each type of bone as it was mentioned. It goes through “the head bone is connected to the neck bone” etc just like the song. There is a lot of extra information in the book that would be great for older kids, but for this age level we just read the main header part, looked at the picture of the x-ray, and identified the bone on the plastic skeleton and ourselves.
I made this simple x-ray machine out of a diaper box ahead of time to use in a fun interactive x-ray activity and used these printable pretend x-rays to go with it. The kids took turns putting one of the solid white pictures inside the machine, pushing the green button, and making the sound of X. Then I had the corresponding x-ray picture ‘print’ out of the machine for them to see. They had a great time with it!
After playing around with the X-ray machine for a little while I pulled all the cards out and had the kids try to match them together.
Next we read “Maisy Goes to the Hospital” by Lucy Cousins
We ate a snack of pretzel sticks which they formed into X’s before eating them.
The kids made people out of playdough and used toothpicks to form the bones.
I could have stretched the x-ray activities to fit our whole preschool time, but I couldn’t resist doing a little bit of “X Marks the Spot” activities since we love pirates around here!
First we read “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long and I pointed out the map they used in the story and how the X marked where the treasure was.
Then the kids dressed up like pirates to do a little treasure hunt. I typed clues on red papers that had tasks for them to do along the way and gave them a map to follow in order to find those clues. It was a chance to give them a little bit of understanding for how you use a map and each time they completed a task they were supposed to cross the number of the clue off on their map with an X to practice drawing the letter. The idea of crossing off numbers of clues with x’s came from here.
At the end of hunt there was a big red X marking the spot with a treasure box beneath it containing a little treasure for them.
After the hunt I gave them some time to do some free play of imaginative pirate play and they had a great time making up stories and creating their own treasure hunts.
I previously would have thought X would be one of the less exciting lessons to do, but this one ended up being a whole lot of fun!
We always end the lesson with reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and adding the letter to our coconut tree.
Edited to add: The second year that I did these lessons we did a complete lesson based around “X is for X Marks the Spot” and it was a big hit! We easily filled the entire time with just this theme. If you want more information, links to posts where I got printables, etc please don’t hesitate to ask!
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